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PIA Press Release

Hundreds join Bicol coastal clean up day observance

LEGAZPI CITY (26 September) -- Hundreds of volunteers from various sectors of society expressed their support to the 2007 International Coastal Clean-up project held Saturday, September 15 in Barangay Rawis, here.

Anchored on the theme "Buhayin at Ipaglaban/Malinis na Katubigan ng Bayan," the activity was spearheaded by the DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional office.

EMB Bicol regional director Gilbert Gonzales said marine debris weighing 514.35 kilos ranging from bottles, torn fishing nets, plastics, syringes and even tampons were hauled-out from the Rawis coast by 516 volunteers for the coastal clean-up activity.

Gonzales said EMB technical staff recorded said data to be reported to the Ocean Conservancy that would conduct analysis and provide for the most detailed picture of marine debris currently available.

Part of the coastal clean-up campaign in this city was the coral reef clean-up spearheaded by the Bicol Scuba Divers Foundation, Inc. (BSDFI) at the Pasig Reef adjacent to Bgy. Rawis.

Some 20 divers of BSDFI sought for the poisonous Crown of Thorns in the reefs and other wastes entangled therein. The group was able to haul 30 Crown of Thorns, 10 bottles, two fishing nets, and various plastic materials entangled in the coral reefs.

Joe Roco, Environmentalist of DENR-ERDS office, stressed that dwindling numbers of hauled crown of thorns was due to the comprehensive program the BSDFI is advocating in order to avert massive coral bleaching.

Over in Camarines Norte the provincial government will spearhead a clean-up campaign at the Daet River on Thursday, September 27 in support of the National Clean-Up Month observation.

Gonzales lauded the growing awareness from stakeholders in the protection and conservation of the environment that leads to the successful turn-our of volunteers in the coastal clean-up.

The Legazpi coastal clean-up activity spearheaded by the DENR-EMB was in partnership with the Rotary Club of Legazpi Central, BSDFI, and Rotary Club of Metro Legazpi and supported by volunteers from the Naval Forces Southern Luzon, Jaycees International, Legazpi City government, Bicol University, and Divine Word College of Legazpi.

The annual International Coastal Clean-up campaign seeks to create awareness for people from all walks of life on the importance of the coastal areas as natural resource that should be protected, cleaned, and maintained. (EMB/PIA) [top]

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